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Does this sound right? $4600 to move to California

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I've been researching like mad to get a sense of what I'll need financially to move to California. However, out of at least 6 websites they all say many different prices that are recommended. I know either way it'll vary because all situations are different. This is what I've gathered and I'm hoping to get a little feedback and also hoping that another person can find any holes or mistakes in this. I should add that I'm moving there to be with my ex from high school. We broke up because she moved to California for College and I moved to Colorado for... well who knows. So after 5 years apart and countless hours of phone calls and text messages we're going to take a step forward.


Here's a bit of a financial background on both of us.

Her - She just got her bachelors in education. She's working on becoming a full-time teacher but for now is a substitute. She currently makes about $1200/mo. When she becomes a full-time teacher she could be making over, according to her, 40K to 65K a year.

Me - I make roughly $1200/mo. However, when I move there I could be making quite a bit more than that. Maybe just under $2,000/mo. I'm planning on staying in the hotel biz and climbing that ladder to eventually manage a hotel, maybe own one.


Now, the travel expenses to get there. I don't own much, just my laptop, cat, and clothes really. The other stuff I do have, I can do well without and am selling them on eBay and the paper.


We're thinking around this time next year I'll be moving there. Flights are about $300 for an adult with fees and all that time of year. So we'll add another $75 for fees and an extra bag in cargo.

I love my cat and will be bringing her. I know I can leave her here with my mom, but I love my cat and it's actually much cheaper than I expected to bring a cat.

A cat that's under 15lbs (my cat is 6 or 7 at the moment) is $75 via United one-way as carry-on baggage. Plus the special carries I need to get for her is about $30, then there's going to be fees no matter what, so let's tack on another $75 just to be on the safe side. (I do realize I need to book far in advance when bringing a pet).

No matter what I'll have a layover because of my location of where I live now. So $20 for food.

Then there's the cost of moving-in. We want to get a place before I actually get there then we can move everything in on that day that I arrive or the next depending on my flight.

The apart place we found requires only first month, $1500 (it starts at $1300 and can be as high as $1500), and a $300 deposit. 100% pet-friendly. Then there's the applicant fee of $42 per adult. So another $84 assuming we get accepted.


Travel & move-in = $2,459 to get from Durango, Colorado to San Jose, California and move in our new place.


Now on to the monthly living cost of our new home.

We're moving to the Monterey area. So either Monterey, Marina, or Salinas is where we'll live. We've found this complex in Salinas that has the right condo for us for $1500/mo with all utilities paid (except electricity I think). So I'll add $60 to the rent for that. Then our cellphones. She has AT&T and I have Sprint, assuming we don't merge onto her plan that's about $200 total. Plus cable and internet (I'd prefer no cable, but she likes TV more than I do). So $75.

Rent as stated above $1500.

Then there's food and miscellaneous stuff. So maybe another $300.


Cost of living = $2,135/mo.


Grand total = $4,594

Including our first month there.


So does this sound right? I took the highest average on basically everything. The rent starts at $1300 and can be as high as $1500. I believe it depends on credit. And with her credit, which is blemish free. We should be able to get the lowest rent. Though with my terrible credit - who knows.

Also I'm a little fishy on her range of income when she becomes a teacher. $40K sounds about right, but I'm not seeing $65K as realistic pay for a kindergarten teacher in California. But I could be wrong.

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Well......it sounds like you don't know what is happening in the teaching field here in California. There are no teaching jobs to be had. My daughter has a teaching credential in California, teaching experience for 3 years, a masters degree in American Literature and English as a minor. She went to South Korea to teach children English so that she could stay in her field of expertise. Frankly, I think your girlfriend is dreaming. The only exception to that is if your girlfriend is in the field of special education. There is always a need for special ed teachers. I would do some homework on this and not rely soley on your girlfriend's input which I find highly questionable.



You did not mention having a car. Is that an issue? chi..

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I think it's great that you have so much self-confidence... but I think you are taking risks that are unnecessarily big. What happens if you don't find a job? Or she doesn't? Or your incomes aren't as projected?


This can be really simple.


Save your $5,000. That's a good amount. Your girlfriend clearly has somewhere to sleep right now. Go with a suitcase and sleep in her bed, wherever that may be. Look for a job. Will it be uncomfortable? Will you miss your cat? Sure. But it should only be for a month or two. Find jobs and when you have things arranged, THEN get a place. At some point, I'm sure, you'll want to go back to visit your mom. At that point, you can bring your cat back with you. When you are stable.


I just think too many things can happen. What if you start a job and don't like it? What if she gets a job accross town? What if you get a job only at the end of your money and don't get paid for another month?


In life, crazy things happen. Don't take too many steps at once... leave yourself more wiggle room and have a Plan B if things don't work out.


Just my opinion.

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I am not a rocket scientist but unless your a millionaire, isnt CA the worst places to move right now ???? Especially San Jose? Hell even if your rich LOL.You guys are making less then 3K a month. Half the poeple in CO are from CA because they ran away from it.


I know in TX a 3700sqf house @ 250K is like 800K+ in CA.



Your crazy

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I would wait until one of you has a stable income. She might have better luck as a teacher in Colorado. Or like everyone says - special ed. I have a few relatives that are teachers and right now lots of districts are not looking for someone who has a bachelor's in education except special ed. They are looking people with a bachelor's in math, or maybe even chem, biology, computer science who go back to get a teaching certificate. She could do okay, but I wouldn't move out there with no job thinking she'll get a stable position soon. I would go look for a job yourself or find a place you both want to move to, but just like i advise young women, i might move into my own place first if you haven't been together for a few years.

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I live in California, in one of the most expensive counties here. I was lucky though because I bought my house way before housing prices crashed.

What is happening is that so many people have lost their jobs and subsequently lost their homes. Renters are taking advantage of this by charging crazy rental fees.

Now Monterey might not be too bad...but the job market there is going to be a little bit more difficult than if you were in a major city such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or San Diego.

I would highly suggest not moving until you have job offers secure. At least investigate what the job market in your fields in the areas you're looking at. There have been a lot of layoffs with teachers, especially in California. A lot of teachers here or those that got their teaching credentials had to find jobs in other fields.

Just remember that like the other posters have said, you get a lot less here for the money than you do in other states. But, you also get fabulous weather (except it can be cold and foggy in Monterey). Today where I live it was 77 degrees!

Remember that you'll need transportation too (we have poor public transportation)--and gas is expensive here. Count in license/registration/car insurance. Also we pay high taxes.

Honestly, putting all that aside----I would really reconsider making such a big move for someone you just got back together with. Countless hours and texts is no substitute to dating and seeing if you two are actually compatible in person (for an extended period of time) before you make what could be the biggest mistake of your life!

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There are NO teaching jobs in California ANYWHERE!!! I have an Education Specialst credential (Special Ed) and I am hoping and praying I get the SCHOOL CLERK job I applied for (300 people tested for the position). Don't come here expecting to get a job in education...there are none.


This is the absolute truth. Jigsup and I are from California and we know the score. It is true, many people apply just for 1 position for any job. I am scared for you. chi..

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when she becomes a teacher. $40K sounds about right, but I'm not seeing $65K as realistic pay for a kindergarten teacher in California. But I could be wrong.


Yes, you are seriously wrong. It would be an egregious error to count this kind of anticipate income from her. Is she substitute teaching in San Jose now? If the answer is yes, then I would just count on whatever income she is in fact earning now.


I think your estimate for food and misc. items is too low. I spend $400 per month at least for food for just myself. Miscilaneous stuff is what? I am really scared for you. ...

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California is one of the most expensive states to live in and job competition is fierce. One guy I know lived out there for a while but moved back because of the stress. He said basically everyone he knew there, including himself, had to work 2-3 jobs just to get by.


I would not go out there without a job already lined up unless you have 6 months of living expenses saved up. So by your estimates, that would be $2459 + 6*$2135 = $15269

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Even if you did get the jobs you expect, and at the wages you expect, I think your housing takes way too big of a chunk out of your incomes. 35% of take home for ALL housing expenses (laundry, utilities, rent insurance, rent, parking, the works) would be my absolute maximum - I don't feel comfortable going past 30%. Right now you're saying you'll hope to make just under $2,000 a month and your rent is $1500 PLUS electricity?? Never turn on your AC.


I hope that's your NET income, and even then EEEEK! I know it's a reality for people to pay half or more of their pay cheques on rent but I would never voluntarily put myself in that situation. No way.


In the dead of winter when the utilities costs 200-350/mo and work is at it's slowest, I'm still spending 28% of my TAKE HOME on housing.

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Well, it's expensive here, but worth every penny. Just beautiful scenery and perfection everywhere. Beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, just the best place anywhere (and I've live all over the country). You have to possess a valid California teaching credential to teach here and that involves many, many, tests you have to pass and a hefty fee ($$$$$). You can't teach in CA without one, it's not legal. Beginning salary for a Kindergarten teacher here is roughly 40k, You wouldn't earn 60k until you had taught here several years. You will love living here, it's beautiful, but easy it ain't!! Most people I know spend abut 75% of their income on rent, mortgage, and utilities.

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